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The History of Edelbrock Performance

WHO WE ARE

Edelbrock® LLC is one of the nation's premier designers, manufacturers, and distributors of performance and replacement parts for the automotive aftermarket. Our line of products includes camshafts, carburetors, crate engines, cylinder heads, engine dress-up kits, fittings, fuel injection, fuel systems, gaskets, ignition, intake manifolds, sensors, superchargers, thermostats, tools, turbochargers, valve train components, and water pumps.

Edelbrock is a proud member of the Edelbrock Group™ family of brands, including COMP Cams®, FAST® (Fuel Air Spark Technology), TCI® Automotive, Russell® Performance and Lunati Power®, representing over 130 years of performance. Headquartered in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Edelbrock focuses on the future with more innovative parts, creating more opportunities for our customers to go fast. For more information about the Edelbrock Group or any partner brands, visit www.edelbrockgroup.com.


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Our mission of “Driving the Future of Automotive Performance” can only be accomplished by the coming together of a diverse talented group of people who are centered on a commitment to exceptional quality, service and performance. If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, we invite you to apply today!


The History of Edelbrock Performance 1913
HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Vic Edelbrock Sr. was born in a small farming community near Wichita, Kansas, in 1913. His father supported the family comfortably as the local grocery store owner. When the store burned down in 1927, Vic left school at age 14 to help support the family. With a natural talent for mechanics, his first job was at an auto repair shop, where he developed his skills as an auto mechanic. When the Great Depression hit Kansas, the young Vic Edelbrock looked to the prosperous West for a new home.

Vic Edelbrock Sr - California 1931
CALIFORNIA... A FRESH START

In 1931, Vic migrated to California to live with his brother. Here, he met Katie, who became his wife in 1933. With his new brother-in-law, Vic opened his first repair shop on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The business flourished, and in 1934, he moved into his own shop on the corner of Venice and Hoover in Los Angeles. Bobby Meeks retired in 1993, becoming his loyal assistant. Several important events occurred between 1934 and the start of the war. Vic Sr.'s reputation as an expert mechanic helped his business grow, and he moved his shop three times. Vic and Katie's only child, Vic Jr., was born in 1936. In 1938, Vic Sr. bought his first project car — a 1932 Ford Roadster — which was a turning point in Edelbrock history. It was Vic Sr.'s entry into the world of "hot rods," inspiring the design and manufacture of the first Edelbrock intake manifold.

Slingshot Manifold / El Mirage 1938
THE SLINGSHOT MANIFOLD

When Vic bought the roadster, he joined Tommy Thickstun in designing the "Thickstun" manifold for the Flathead. Vic wasn't happy with the performance, so he created his aluminum intake manifold. It was called the "Slingshot". The Slingshot was a 180° manifold for a Ford flathead using two Stromberg 97 carburetors. This was the first product to feature the famous "EDELBROCK" name. Before the war, Vic produced about 100 of these Flathead Ford manifolds. Vic raced and tested his new manifold on his 1932 Ford at Muroc Dry Lake, 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles (where Edwards Air Force base is today). He became a consistent winner with his modified roadster at racing speeds of 112 mph. Vic would drive the Ford to the dry lakes, remove the fenders and the windshield, then race the car. At the end of the races, he would re-install the fenders and the windshield and drive it home.

Edelbrock Roadster 1939
TESTING DELIVERS RESULTS

The roadster became an essential part of Vic's product development. He would install his parts on the roadster to determine how well they performed. One of Vic's ideas was modified factory cast-iron "Denver" cylinder heads, incorporating a unique high-altitude design featuring higher compression. Vic filled and milled the head for a further increase in compression, gaining even more power. Meanwhile, he received multiple requests for his twin carb manifold. This was the driving force behind the opening of his own performance parts business. Three weeks before Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II, Vic was clocked at 121.42 mph in his '32 at Rosamond Dry Lake. During the war, Vic shelved his racing activities and used his machinist skills for the war effort. Vic's wartime experiences increased his perception of what he could build with the right machining tools.

Edelbrock Machine Shop 1946
A NEW BEGINING

At the war's end, he purchased his first building to open a machine shop and repair facility at 1200 North Highland in Hollywood. Here, Vic designed his first aluminum racing heads for Flathead Fords. The business was on the way to becoming more of a performance parts shop than a repair shop. So much so that the idea was to create a catalog offering parts for general sale. The first catalog was printed in 1946 with the name "Edelbrock Power and Speed Equipment" across the front cover. This catalog included Edelbrock heads, intakes, pistons, steering wheels, and crankshafts. At this time, Vic was committed to running his business and participating in his favorite sport... midget racing.

Edelbrock Midget Racing 1946
MIDGET RACING... A SUCCESS STORY

The third midget he purchased became a part of racing history. The 7th Kurtis Kraft midget was purchased later that year. With Bobby Meeks as head wrench, they toured Southern California tracks, racing up to six nights a week. Vic's winning team included such greats as Perry Grimm, Walt Faulkner, Billy Vukovich, and Rodger Ward. Vic was now known for fast flathead Fords and race-winning midgets. History was made when Vic's V8-60-equipped midget broke the winning streak of the Offy-equipped midgets. With Rodger Ward at the wheel and nitromethane in the fuel, #27 beat the Offys in the first and only V8-60 win at the famous Gilmore Stadium. Vic was the first to use nitromethane as a fuel. Needless to say, his competitors had no idea what that strange smell and color was coming from the exhaust.

First Engine Dynamometer 1948
FIRST ENGINE DYNAMOMETER

With a solid business developing, Vic bought one of the performance industry's first engine dynos in 1948. With this 200 HP Clayton dyno, he could get actual data to gauge the effectiveness of his products. This dyno allowed Vic to prove that his designs won races and made measurable performance gains. By then, Edelbrock Sr.'s equipment was on almost every winning car on the dry lakes and the midget tracks.

Edelbrock First Purpose-Built Shop 1949
VIC'S FIRST PURPOSE BUILT SHOP

Business flourished, and in 1949, Vic moved into his first purpose-built shop on Jefferson Blvd. It was 5,000 sq. ft. and equipped with a small machine shop, repair bays, an engine dynamometer, a small stock room, and office space. Vic expanded his business in this new facility by designing more cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and even racing pistons for several applications.

Edelbrock Equipped Race Cars 1950
EDELBROCK EQUIPPED

In the early 50s, dry lake racing expanded to include Bonneville, where Edelbrock-equipped cars continued to dominate. The first single-engine streamliner to go over 200 mph was the Edelbrock-equipped Bachelor-Xydias So-Cal Special. Don Waite, former VP of Engineering at Edelbrock from 1990-95, raced an Edelbrock-equipped 160 mph 1927 Model-T Roadster. When Don decided his Roadster needed to go faster, he worked with Vic Sr. and Bobby Meeks from 1950-52 to streamline the body & build a 304ci flathead. Now called The Edelbrock Special, the roadster had an Edelbrock 4-carb intake, heads, and pistons. Using nitromethane, this 1927 Model-T went 192 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Edelbrock's catalog expanded to include heads, intakes, flywheels, pistons, cams, and adjustable tappets for Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln. It also included parts from Paul Scheifer, Ed Iskenderian, Harmon & Collins, and Ed Winfield.

edelbrock Three-Carb Intake Manifold 1955
BREAKTHROUGHS

Vic Sr. began dyno tests on the new small-block Chevrolet engine in 1955. Several power-producing manifolds resulted, the first being a three-carb intake manifold featured on the cover of Hot Rod magazine. The next development was the six-carb Ram Log manifold for the street and strip. Then, in 1958, Vic managed an industry first by getting one horsepower-per-cubic-inch from a 283ci small-block Chevy with the new Cross Ram manifold. This breakthrough also led Edelbrock to develop manifolds for Pontiac and Chrysler engines.

Vic Edelbrock Sr with Vic Edelbrock Jr 1962
FROM FATHER TO SON

At the early age of 49, cancer took the life of Vic Edelbrock Sr. He was a man held in high esteem. It was a sad day for the aftermarket industry and those who loved him. The year was 1962, and the Edelbrock Equipment Company was handed over to Vic Jr. and a group of loyal employees, most of whom had been with Vic Sr. since the beginning. They knew what it took to continue the traditions Vic Sr. began.

Edelbrock Team 1964
A GREAT CREW

Vic Sr. left behind a great team of very talented people. Bobby Meeks, Don Towle, and Robert Bradford were on hand to assist Vic Jr. in continuing his father's dream. In 1964, a good friend named Bob Joehnck saw an opportunity to develop an intake for a small-block Chevy. The C-4B manifold was another turning point for the Edelbrock Equipment Company. The "golden age of the 1960s and 1970s" brought about the Tunnel Ram, Tarantula, and Streetmaster manifolds. From 1971-1974, he served as President of the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA), educating about the benefits of a strong & legal performance parts industry. In the '80s and '90s, Edelbrock moved into a more diverse product line with carbs, cam kits, valvetrain parts, exhausts, engine accessories, fuel system parts, heads, and more.

Edelbrock Group Today TODAY
EDELBROCK TODAY

Edelbrock LLC and its Distribution Center is headquartered in Olive Branch, Mississippi, along with the Edelbrock Group family of brands that include COMP Cams, FAST - Fuel Air Spark Technology, TCI Automotive, Russell Performance and Lunati Power. Edelbrock’s Southern California R&D Tech Center is in Cerritos, CA, with the Edelbrock Foundries located in San Jacinto, CA. Edelbrock Group has two facilities in North Carolina: the Edelbrock Carburetor Division in Sanford, and the Edelbrock Race Center in Mooresville.


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